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In a 100% Christian nation, would laws be necessary and/or desirable?

#1kozlo100Posted 6/27/2013 11:51:14 AM
Say we have a nation where the entire population is Christian. They all believe in God, and have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Good Christian folk, though obviously still human.

In that situation, is it necessary or desirable to have a judicial system? Or do things like 'judge not, lest ye be judged' along with the concepts of mercy and forgiveness imply that such a nation should forgo a judicial system, leaving the judgement to God and forgiving your neighbor's failings when they stumble?
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#2C_MatPosted 6/27/2013 12:01:10 PM
Yes, they'd still be totally necessary. Like you said, they're still imperfect and human, so they're still going to do wrong from time to time. Although I'd think the legal system would be a whole lot simpler than the American legal system.
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#3ThuggernautzPosted 6/27/2013 12:01:25 PM
Do these people 100% follow the tenets of Christianity all the time? Are there mental illnesses in the population?

If we are just talking about a normal population like we currently have withpeople that still call themselves Christians whilst doing very un-Christ-like things, then I would think without any threat of punishment from society that those who don't care for, or are willing to take advantage of others for personal gain would rule the roost and that would be the norm.

Then again, one might argue that such is the case in many societies already anyway.
#4kozlo100(Topic Creator)Posted 6/27/2013 12:30:57 PM
Thuggernautz posted...
Do these people 100% follow the tenets of Christianity all the time? Are there mental illnesses in the population?


Mental illness, sure. For the other bit, the idea is that they all honestly try to follow the tenets of Christianity. Furthermore, they all do really believe that there are negative spiritual consequences to wrong action.

There is the fear of punishment from society aspect for those that might consider wrong action, but that plays against the fear of God that they already have.

I'm interested in the other side of it as well though. Does a Christian have the authority to punish another Christian for taking wrong action? Ought a pastor jail a member of his congregation for sinning?
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#5kozlo100(Topic Creator)Posted 6/27/2013 12:32:21 PM
C_Mat posted...
Yes, they'd still be totally necessary. Like you said, they're still imperfect and human, so they're still going to do wrong from time to time.


Sure, folks will do wrong, but what about "Forgive us our trespasses, and forgive those who trespass against us"?
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#6C_MatPosted 6/27/2013 12:44:23 PM
^Forgiving someone means restoring a relationship, not withholding a punishment for wrongdoing. If you have kids, you know that forgiving them for doing something wrong doesn't necessarily mean they won't be grounded.
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#7kozlo100(Topic Creator)Posted 6/27/2013 12:59:51 PM
But that is sort of implying that you have the authority to punish another for his sins. Where are you getting that authority from?
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#8C_MatPosted 6/27/2013 1:07:11 PM(edited)
From being a government official, regardless of what kind of government you have or how you got there (democracy, monarchy, whatever). The New Testament does not give a guideline for building a governing system, it just tells you how a Christian should act regardless of what kind of nation you live in. It also says you should follow the laws of your government (as long as it doesn't force you to do something immoral) and pay your taxes, and affirms the right of your government to impose rules and regulations upon the people.
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#9kozlo100(Topic Creator)Posted 6/27/2013 1:10:17 PM
C_Mat posted...
it just tells you how a Christian should act regardless of what kind of nation you live in.


But if everyone already knows how they should act, and are trying to act that way to the best of their abilities, isn't it redundant for the government to create laws telling you how to act and punishing you when you don't act that way?

Additionally, how does scripture say you should act in regards to another Christian who has wronged you? In a fully Christian nation, shouldn't reaction be implemented on a societal level?
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#10C_MatPosted 6/27/2013 1:32:03 PM
kozlo100 posted...
But if everyone already knows how they should act, and are trying to act that way to the best of their abilities, isn't it redundant for the government to create laws telling you how to act and punishing you when you don't act that way?


I mean, I don't really see how that's redundant. Everyone knows how they're supposed to act, it doesn't mean they're going to be perfect at it. They'll still mess up.

If I steal something from you, it's my job to forgive you. It's your job to seek forgiveness and make restitution for what you stole. If you're genuinely sorry, of course you'll make restitution. If not, that's where the law would come in and force you to pay it back. It would probably depend what you stole to see whether I'd legally require you to make restitution, but I can forgive you either way. Forgiving someone does not mean you let them take whatever they want from you. Everything in this example would apply whether you were living in America, England, or this hypothetical Christian theocracy.

Additionally, how does scripture say you should act in regards to another Christian who has wronged you? In a fully Christian nation, shouldn't reaction be implemented on a societal level?


From the words of Jesus:
"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more.....And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church [do not regard him as a Christian]."

That was from Matthew 18:15-17 if you want to look it up. There are more verses on this subject from Paul. As for how this manifests in a hypothetical fully Christian nation, I don't know how you should legally enforce it. Maybe deport them if they refuse to comply with Christian ethics? The New Testament, like I said, does not instruct you how to legislate Christian values, it only tells you what Christian values are. There are various opinions on the best way to legislate morality; as you're surely aware, some Christians think gay marriage is morally wrong but they're still OK with gays being allowed to marry.
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk